ORIGIN is upon us and the Blues have a chance to seal a rare series victory in Sydney.
Nick Walshaw runs the rule over the weird and wonderful of Game II on Sunday night.
A is for Ad-Lib
Or Freddyball. A unique approach to Origin that has NSW wanting to score more points than Queensland, instead of trying to keep them to fewer.
B is for BLUiE
Rugby league wastes money? No way. I mean, for how long now have Blues fans wanted greater access to Origin camps via a 65cm robot boasting VR technology, a 360-degree camera and all the personality of Dexter from Perfect Match?
C is for Cattledog
Or it was. Until the NRL neutered him. Meaning the best you can hope for now is a Downward Facing Dog in Blues yoga class.
D is for Daylight
What separates Josh Addo-Carr from most other men. Truly, the Blues winger disappears quicker than Chumbawambah after Tubthumping.
E is for Earthing
A mystical connection where electrons pass up from the earth and into your body. In Queensland, more commonly known as barefoot and pregnant.
F is for Fourex
Drink one and you'll understand why Queenslanders prefer to hurl them.
G is for Groundhog Day
Dunno about you, but we can't help feeling like we've been here before. NSW up one-zip. TAB favourites. Headed to Homebush with one hand on that Origin shield. What could go wrong ...
H is for Hip Flask
Expect to see plenty of these smuggled into ANZ Stadium. That way, the more you drink the more you save.
I is for Ipswich
Home to Queensland coach Kevvie Walters ... and the largest collection of women in their thirties called 'nan'.
J is for Jimmy
As in Maloney. The larrikin playmaker taking such a mature approach to this series, Blues medical staff say Nathan Cleary has only bled from one ear this week.
K is for Kalyn Ponga
The rising Newcastle star whose Origin eligibility check went: Son of a Maori father. Queensland. Born in Western Australia. Queensland. Schoolboy prodigy in Palmerston North, New Zealand ... yep, Queensland.
L is for Legendary Names
And in Origin, the greatest need only one. Think Artie, Alfie, Bert, Blocker, Benny, King, Joey, Choppy, Fatty, Locky, Sterlo, Lozza, Mal, MG ... and Grasshopper.
M is for Matt Prior
Whose selection represents only a slight shift from previous NSW teams, who were known for carrying several priors.
N is for No
What, on reflection, we should've said all those years ago when Greg Inglis first inquired about playing for Queensland.
O is for 008
Adding Andrew Johns to the Blues brains trust was a masterstroke. Playing him at hooker in '97, not so much.
P is for Punish
See also, Will Chambers.
Q is for (if) Queeeeenslandah (nf)
A warcry that when screamed through enough missing teeth, actually produces a whistle.
R is for Rabs
And hearing him call Origin, it's like listening to rain on a tin roof.
S is for Spaceman
And sideline eye. And Supercoach. Could Bradley Scott Fittler really be all three?
T is for Topknot
And not until Jack De Belin got rid of his, kids, did he make the NSW Origin side.
U is for Underdog
Aka Queensland. Which is fair enough given they only have five incumbent Kangaroos. That, and Greg Inglis, Kalyn Ponga, Ben Hunt and Dylan Napa. Eleven of the past 12 Origin series, too. Yep, easybeats.
V is for Violent All-In Brawl
C'mon fellas, it's not like the referee can send everyone to the sin bin, right?
W is for Wati Holmwood
No, he wouldn't, would he ...
X is for X-Rated
Where things go when you try to Google video of Blues advisor Brandy Alexander.
Y is for Why
Like why should you never swerve toward a Queenslander on his bike? Easy. It could be your bike.
Z is for ZZZZZZ
Our reaction when Queensland fans eventually start blaming this series loss on the absence of Cameron Smith. And Johnathan Thurston. And Cooper Cronk. And Darius Boyd. And Matt Scott. And Darren Lockyer. And Greg Conescu. And Wally Fullerton-Smith. And ... zzzzz.